Objective. Microdosimetry offers a fast tool for radiation quality (RQ) verification to be implemented in treatment planning systems in proton therapy based on variable LET or RBE to move forward from the use of a fixed RBE of 1.1. It is known that the RBE of protons can increase up to 50% higher than that value in the last few millimetres of their range. Microdosimetry can be performed both experimentally and by means of Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. This paper has the aim of comparing the two approaches. Approach. Experimental measurements have been performed using a miniaturized Tissue equivalent proportional counter developed at the Legnaro National Laboratories of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics with the aim of being used as RQ monitors for high intensity beams. MC simulations have been performed using the microdosimetric extension of TOPAS which provides optimized parameters and scorers for this application. Main results. Simulations were compared with experimental microdosimetric spectra in terms of shape of the spectra and their average values. Moreover, the latter have been investigated as possible estimators of LET obtained with the same MC code. The shape of the spectra is in general consistent with the experimental distributions and the average values of the distributions in both cases can predict the RQ increase with depth. Significance. This study aims at the comparison of microdosimetric spectra obtained from both experimental measurements and the microdosimetric extension of TOPAS in the same radiation field.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging